Tag: narrative nonfiction

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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

September 2, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 21 ★★★★★

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, SpyTitle: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Author: Karen Abbott
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Some of the most exciting narrative nonfiction I’ve read. All four stories are brought vividly to life, with great detail and accuracy.

The four women in this book are very different but they also have a lot in common. Two of them were Confederates and two were loyal to the Union. They each had different motivations, from Belle Boyd’s pursuit of notoriety to Emma Edmonds’ desire to provide medical aid to soldiers on the battlefield. However, they all shared common attributes, including their bravery, their dedication to their work, and their ability to influence the outcome of the war.
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In the Kingdom of Ice

August 10, 2014 History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 12 ★★★★★

In the Kingdom of IceTitle: In the Kingdom of Ice
Author: Hampton Sides
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: My favorite narrative nonfiction this year! Well-researched and packed with details that bring this more fantastic than fiction adventure story to life.

The north pole was the late nineteenth century’s final frontier. Popular belief suggested that an undiscovered group of people might live at the pole in a region kept habitable by warm ocean water flowing under a surrounding ring of ice. After a rescue mission in which he acquitted himself heroically, navy man George Washington De Long was the obvious choice to lead the next expedition. With funding from eccentric newspaper owner Gordon Bennett, he led a team of 32 men (including a reporter) on a voyage aiming for the pole. However, as their ship was first trapped in ice and then smashed to pieces, it quickly became clear that the men of the expedition would be lucky to make it home alive.
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The Map Thief

June 1, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Psychology 29

18693681Title: The Map Thief
Author: Michael Blanding
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Fun Fact: Because mapmakers continued to depict California as an island after it was known not to be, Ferdinand VII of Spain issued a law which simply stated “California is not an island.”
Review Summary: This is a well-researched story which included both interesting personal details and awesome fun facts written in an engaging way – everything I want from narrative nonfiction!

To most people who knew him, E. Forbes Smiley III appeared to be a respectable, well-to-do map dealer. However, there were some who suspected otherwise, noting his sometimes bounced checks and less than friendly business practices. Nothing could be proven until he dropped a razor blade while visiting a rare book collection, raising the librarians suspicions. The Map Thief tells Smiley’s story, from his childhood through his arrest, as well as the history of map-making and map collecting. The author shares bits of an exclusive post-arrest interview with Smiley and is able to share other personal stories from interviews with friends. He also addresses clues that Smiley might not have been entirely forthcoming about how many maps he stole. Read more »

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Five Days At Memorial

November 6, 2013 Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 9

17704902Title: Five Days At Memorial
Author: Sheri Fink
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: The author did a great job sharing enough information about each person to convey that these are real people, a talent that increased the tension of this harrowing story.

Five Days At Memorial is a reconstruction of the time following Hurricane Katrina that survivors spent at the hospital, largely without electricity and with decreasing supplies of food and water. Horrific mismanagement led to a situation so desperate and chaotic that later some doctors and nurses were accused of having euthanized some of their patients. The second half of the book deals with the investigation and trials following that accusation. Read more »

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